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Speech at the Signing of the Calamba-Wilhelmsfeld Sister-City Agreement, 07 October 2011 Print E-Mail
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Saturday, 08 October 2011

 

H.E. Maria Cleofe R. Natividad

Speech at the Signing of the Calamba-Wilhelmsfeld Sister-City Agreement

07 October 2011
Wilhelmsfeld, Germany

 

 

Sehr geehrter Herr Bürgermeister Hans Zellner,
Sehr geehrter Herr Bürgermeister Joaquin Chipeco, Jr.
Sehr geehrter Herr Kongress/ab/geordneter Justin Marc SB. Chipeco,
Sehr geehrter Herr Honorargeneralkonsul Prof. Dr. Gerhard Zeidler,
Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Fritz Hack,
Verehrte Gäste,
Meine Damen und Herren,

 

( The Honorable Mayor Hans Zellner,
The Honorable Mayor Joaquin Chipeco Jr.,
The Honorable Congressman Justin Marc Chipeco,
Honorary Consul General Dr. Gerhard Zeidler,
Dr. Fritz Hack,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen )

 

Ich wünsche Ihnen allen einen angenehmen Nachmittag.

 

(A pleasant afternoon to all.)

 

Heute ist ein bedeutender Tag für die philippinische Gemeinde hier in Wilhelmsfeld, für unsere deutschen Gastgeber und Freunde, sowie für unsere Gäste und Freunde aus Calamba. Der heutige Tag ist bedeutsam für beide Partnerstädte, und er ist ebenfalls bedeutsam für unsere beiden Länder und unsere jeweiligen Kulturen.

 

(Today is a significant day for the Filipino community here in Wilhelmsfeld, our German host and friends, and also for our guests and friends from Calamba. Today is significant for both these two sister cities, and also to both our countries and to our respective cultures.)

 

Ebenfalls bedeutsam ist der Umstand, daß während wir hier in der GEGENWART zusammengekommen sind, wir uns auf ein besseres MORGEN freuen und wir gleichermaßen auf eine VERGANGENHEIT blicken, aus der wir Lehren ziehen können, die uns leiten werden.


(What is also important is the fact that while we are all gathered here in the PRESENT, looking forward for a better TOMORROW, we also look back into the PAST from where we can draw lessons to guide us.)

 

Da wir der Unterzeichnung dieses Abkommens zur Städtepartnerschaft beiwohnen- es hat sechs Jahre gedauert, bis es zustande gekommen ist- so wird uns die zeitliche und symbolische Bedeutung in um so stärkerem Maße bewußt, als wir dieses Jahr auf den Philippinen den 150. Geburtstag unseres Nationalhelden, Dr. José Rizal, feiern.

 

(As we witness this sister city agreement, which took six years in the making, we find it all the more significant, timely and symbolic as we commemorate this year in the Philippines the 150th birth anniversary of our Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.)

 

As Filipinos, we take pride in our heritage, in our national hero. After all, Dr. Rizal was not only multi-skilled, multi-talented and a polyglot, who was conversant in 22 foreign and local languages. He was also our version of a renaissance man, who had the passion and creativity to build and push for ideas not only for the interest of his own people but for humanity in general.

 

Während wir stolz sind auf unseren Nationalhelden Rizal, sind wir tief bewegt von der Anerkennung, welche unsere deutschen Freunde Rizal zuteil werden lassen. Im Namen der philippinischen Regierung bringe ich meine tiefste Dankbarkeit dem philippinischen Honorargeneralkonsul, Herrn Dr. Gerhad Zeidler, sowie dem Bürgermeister von Wilhelmsfeld, Herrn Hans Zellner, zum Ausdruck, für ihre außergewöhnlichen Anstrengungen, die heutige Veranstaltung möglich zu machen.

 

(While we take pride in our national hero Rizal, we are more than deeply touched by the recognition given by our German friends to Rizal. Thus, in behalf of the Philippine government, I express my deepest appreciation to Philippine Honorary Consul General Dr. Gerhard Zeidler, and to Wilhlelmsfeld Mayor Hans Zellner, for their extraordinary efforts in making this event possible today.)

 

Meine besondere Wertschätzung gilt dem persönlichen Engagement der Nachfahren von Pastor Ullmer, in erster Linie ist hier Dr. Fritz Hack zu nennen, in der Bewahrung des Andenkens und des Vermächtnisses Rizals in Wilhelmsfeld.

(I also highly appreciate the personal dedication of Pastor Ulmer’s descendants today as represented by Dr. Fritz Hack, in sustaining the memory and legacy of Rizal in Wilhelmsfeld.)

 

As history tells us, it was in the residence of the Revered Pastor Karl Ulmer here in Wilhelmsfel , where Jose Rizal stayed for several months and where he imbibed the German culture, values, language and most importantly, the German democratic ideals which partly inspired him to write his books and other works.

 

It was here in Wilhelmsfeld where Rizal finished writing his first book “Noli Me Tangere.” This was followed by his other famous book “El Filibusterismo.” Not too many Filipinos even know that Rizal also wrote a third book entitled “Guillermo Tell,” which was actually a Tagalog translation of German poet and playwright Friedrich Schiller’s story “William Tell.”

 

Rizal works, poems, letters and books, particularly his Noli Me Tangere, were instrumental in opening the eyes of the Filipinos to the real socio-political situation then under the colonial Spanish regime and which ignited the patriotic fervor that led to the 1896 Philippine revolution and independence on 12 June 1898, making the Philippines the first Asian country to gain freedom from colonial rule.

 

We will know more about Rizal’s life and works and their significance and relevance in this evening’s lectures by Dr. Hack and by Ms. Manju Ludwig of Heidelberg University. Let me invite everyone to listen to their presentations as we continue to strengthen Philippine and German relations.

 

Für die Anerkennung Rizals sind wir Wilhelmsfeld zu tiefem Dank verpflichtet, ist es doch der einzige Ort in Deutschland, in dem sich ein Rizal-Park mit seiner Statue befindet. Meine aufrichtiger Dank gilt den fort/währenden Bemühungen von Seiten des Stadtrats und von Seiten der Bewohner von Wilhelmsfeld, das Andenken und das Vermächtnis von Dr. José Rizal zu bewahren.

 

(We deeply appreciate Wilhelmsfeld’s recognition of Rizal as it is the only place in Germany where you have a Rizal Park where his statue stands. I sincerely like to give due recognition to the continuing efforts of the city government and the people of Wilhelmsfeld in sustaining the memory and legacy of Dr. Jose Rizal.)


I also fully appreciate the support and presence of Calamba Mayor Joaquin Chipeco and his delegation who came all the way from the Philippines to join us in this historic occasion. As you may all know, Calamba, which is located around 57 kilometers south of Metro Manila, was once a sleepy rural town during Rizal’s childhood 150 years ago. Today, it is now a booming and bustling urban hub under the able leadership of Mayor Chipeco.

 

Just like Wilhelmsfeld, Calamba continues to nurture the legacy and life works of her most famous son, Dr. Jose Rizal. Only last June 19, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Rizal, no less than the President himself, His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, led the national commemoration ceremonies at Calamba, where the newest and largest statue of Dr. Jose Rizal was formally unveiled.

 

Schließlich möchte ich den Stadtverwaltungen von Calamba und Wilhelmsfeld zu der Unterzeichnung gratulieren. Mit dieser Unterzeichnung wird die Städtepartnerschaft formalisiert. Ich bin überaus zu/versichtlich, daß mit diesem Abkommen beide Städte in der Lage sein werden, ihre formellen Beziehungen, sowie die Kooperation auf Gebieten gegenseitigen Interesses, auszuweiten, zum Nutzen ihrer jeweiligen Völker, sowie zur Verbesserung des kulturellen Verständnisses zwischen den Philippinen und Deutschland.

 

(Finally, I wish to congratulate the governments of Calamba and Wilhelmsfeld on this signing ceremony that formalizes their Sister-City Partnership. I am highly optimistic that with this agreement, both cities will be able to expand formal ties and cooperation on areas of mutual interest, for the benefit of their respective peoples, and also for the betterment of cultural understanding between the Philippines and Germany.)

 

Thank you.